Advisors Told Me What The Perfect Meeting Looks Like and It’s F***

P1000127The Blueleaf Team recently polled a group of 386 financial advisors who were interested in improving their client meetings.

We simply asked: What would an “ideal” meeting be like for you?

It was open-ended, not multiple choice. The idea was to give participants the freedom to say whatever came to mind, without the influence of what an “ideal” meeting could or should be.

Responses flooded in.

Bottom line:  Advisors yearn for meetings with FLIB.

Some want FLI, some FB. Others just need a little LI. But as a group, one thing is very clear: a FLIBy meeting is a happy meeting. Tweet this.

What the heck is FLIB?

F = Feelings of positivity.
L = Logistics in order.
I = Information shared.
B = Business grown.

An ideal client meeting would include feelings of positivity (responses such as “Smiley Face Client”, “Client realizing you can add value and are not just another quote”), desirable logistics (“Clear expectations of what is being accomplished and accomplishing all of those items”, “Online and 30 mins”), sharing of information (“Where the client and I both learn something new”, “Info learned that will advance my relationship and allow me to solve a problem or meet a possible need”),  and elements of business growth (“Client referrals to similar clients, and new assets from other sources!”, “Close the deal!”).

It’s interesting that 4 key elements emerged, but perhaps not incredibly shocking. What could be more insightful is understanding the frequency with which each was mentioned, and what you can do to achieve balanced FLIB-y-ness.

32% of respondents mentioned desirable logistics. 36% mentioned business growth. These numbers seem relatively moderate; an appropriate representation of both meeting structure and business growth.

However, a meer 14% mentioned information sharing in their description of an ideal meeting. That’s it?

Okay, I see a few possible reasons for this lack of focus on information:

  1. Advisors assume information will be shared in a meeting. Didn’t feel the need to mention it.
  2. Advisors have client-facing software that automates their performance reporting year-round, so there’s a reduced pressure and stress to harp on it during the meeting itself.
  3. Advisors feel in control of information. Sure, it’s an element of an ideal meeting, but when you feel in control, other elements that feel less in control may take priority in your mind (i.e. feelings).

Speaking of feelings, the most commonly desired element of an “ideal” meeting is the F of FLIB – feelings of positivity. 57% of respondents noted positive feelings as a part of their ideal meeting.

Here, I can think of two fundamental reasons this may be the #1 desire: (i) Good feelings are “ideal” because they’re not consistently good right now, and (ii) advisors generally feel out of control when it comes to their clients’ feelings, so a meeting would be ideal if:

  • a client is “interested, motivated and excited”
  • “client feels heard and motivated”
  • “The client [goes] away feeling that it was valuable”

So, you want clients to have positive feelings during and after your meeting? How can you make this “ideal” a reality?

Asking clients to calm down won’t work (Warning: Do not attempt). You can’t force them to “feel heard”, either. But you can help them feel positive over time. It actually comes back to information sharing. It comes back to the 14%.

Due to the nature of an advisor-client relationship, sharing of information really does effect client feelings. Here at Blueleaf we’ve witnessed first-hand that informed clients are happy clients. This is good news. As mentioned, advisors often feel IN control of information and OUT of control of client feelings. The trick is to alter your information communication techniques and methods to positively effect client emotions. This is achieved with a comprehensive client engagement strategy.

You can start today by dropping the jargon, opening your lines of transparent communication, using automated touch points throughout the year, and equipping clients with the tools they need to know where their money is and how it’s doing, any moment of their day. We welcome you to contact Blueleaf to find out how our client engagement platform can help you achieve this in your business, today, using simple automation. Inquire at info@blueleaf.com.








Photo credit: Flickr, friedcell

Carolyn McRae Carolyn is Blueleaf’s in-house marketing guru. She writes on The Blueleaf Blog to make advisors’ lives easier, offering practice management and client engagement tips where and when they’re useful. Outside of the Blueleaf offices, she can be found running a 10k or cooking her famous chili. Chat LIVE with Carolyn on Twitter @BlueleafAdvisor!